Fresh produce grows stronger as a health hero

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the fresh produce category has continued to thrive within grocery and retail. Retail World looks into the trends, challenges and direction of fresh produce.

The future for fresh Australian produce is bright, with the consumer trends of health, convenience, taste and sustainability here to stay, according to family business Perfection Fresh, which began in 1978.

“At Perfection Fresh, our mission is to inspire a healthier world by connecting people to sustainable fresh food,” CEO Michael Simonetta said.

“The Covid challenges we’ve faced in 2020 will continue to drive consumption. Fresh produce is natural, healthy and sustainable. We’re in an industry that has lots of opportunities.”

Perfection Fresh specialises in several categories within the fresh produce sector, which Mr Simonetta says is performing well.

“Certainly, the categories that we grow and sell – that we market and process – are performing well within the grocery sector,” Mr Simonetta told Retail World.

He adds that while trends come and go, the Covid-19 pandemic has had the greatest impact on the fresh category, with the resultant change in shopping patterns.

“The ability to be out and about has been limited [over the past 12 months], so family dining is more in-house than it has been in recent times,” he said.

“Because of that, we’ve seen an increase in home cooking, consumers trying new recipes, and eating to feel better [for immunity].

“Fresh produce is front and centre of health and wellbeing. Eating fresh produce is a healthy choice. I think all these things have contributed to our industry being well placed … during the pandemic.”

Read more on the fresh category in the latest issue of Retail World magazine.